NFL best bets and locks for Week 3: Expect heavy favorites to cover

Sep 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase gestures for a time-out against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we’re two weeks through the 2020 NFL season, what might have seemed like anomalies during the opening slate of action can now be seen as trends.

The New York Jets are an absolute laughingstock in every way. That has led to the Indianapolis Colts being major Week 3 favorites against their conference rivals. On the other hand, two NFC West quarterbacks in that of Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson have their offenses clicking on all cylinders.

NFL Week 3 power rankings

In taking a look at Week 3 action around the NFL, here’s a look at some best bets and locks. One hint would be to go with the heavy favorites to cover. We start with that.

Colts at -10.5 is the lock of NFL Week 3

  • The San Francisco 49ers found themselves as 6.5-point favorites over these Jets last week. Despite losing Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert and Nick Bosa to first half injuries, San Francisco absolutely dominated a laughable Jets squad. The score was 31-6 before a garbage-time touchdown pass from Sam Darnold.
  • As for the Colts, they overcome a brutal Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars by handing it to Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. Indianapolis’ defense yielded less than 100 net passing yards and recorded three interceptions. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor went for over 100 yards on the ground replacing the injured Marlon Mack. He will eat in this one, leading to the Colts covering. That’s one of the best bets of NFL Week 3.

NFL Week 3 odds and one liners

Take the Packers and Saints at the over

  • Green Bay is averaging a whopping 42.5 points per game through two weeks. Aaron Rodgers has thrown for north of 600 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions. Aaron Jones has gone for 312 total yards and four touchdowns at running back.
  • Despite some struggles on offense in their upset loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last week, the Saints still amassed 424 total yards of offense. It’s hard to bet against Drew Brees after two consecutive iffy performances, too.
  • Both of these teams have also been somewhat questionable when it comes to scoring defense. The Saints are yielding 28.5 points per game while Green Bay has given up an average of 27.5 points. In what promises to be a barn burner, the 51.5 over/under actually seems too small.

NFL Week 3 schedule and predictions

Tom Brady and Buccaneers should cover against injury-depleted Broncos squad

  • We were surprised that Tampa Bay opened as a mere six-point favorite over the Denver Broncos heading into Week 3. Given the injuries Denver has sustained through two weeks, it’s pretty much the lock of the week that Tampa will cover.
  • Jeff Driskel will get the start under center with fellow quarterback Drew Lock sidelined. Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay remains out with turf toe. Meanwhile, Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton is lost for the season with a torn ACL. That doesn’t even take into account serious injuries Pro Bowlers, edge rusher Von Miller and cornerback A.J. Bouye, have suffered on the defensive side of the ball.
  • After a brutal showing in Week 1, Brady had his Buccaneers playing well this past Sunday en route to a 31-17 win over the youthful Carolina Panthers. Now that Denver needs young players to step up, look for the Bucs to take advantage and cover easily here.

NFL lock of the week: Cardinals plow past bad Lions teams

  • Under defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia, Detroit’s defense has yielded an asounding 63 points over the past five quarters of football. That included a three-touchdown performance by Mitchell Trubisky in the fourth quarter of the Lions’ ugly season-opening loss.
  • The Lions are absolutely terrible on the defensive side of the ball. It’s not going to get any better moving forward, either. This obviously has Patricia on the hot seat.
  • The backdrop here is a Cardinals team that laid 30 points on a much better Washington defense last week and has MVP front runner Kyler Murray playing tremendous football. Arizona as a mere 5.5-point favorite makes absolutely no sense here.